What defines the “best
The most logical answer is based on ratings and reviews from sites like MAL (MyAnimeList).
The problem with that is: it’s limited to MAL’S audience. And some reviews aren’t what I’d consider “real” reviews.
It’s just childish complaints from
Then you have anime polls that Japan runs, gathering no more than 10,000-100,000+ votes in total. A small number when you consider the 50-100 millions of fans around the world.
Because of that, there’s no perfect way to settle these subjective debates.
With that said… Here’s my list of the greatest
Anime Of All Time (In No Ranking Order):
Monster does one thing well: express the “inner monster” within all of us.
All it takes is the wrong set of circumstances to trigger someone on a dark path. Awakening an evil we never thought ourselves capable of.
2. Violet Evergarden
Violet Evergarden shines because of its heartfelt, emotional story telling.
You don’t just feel empathy towards the main character, you also feel it for the support characters who show up along the way.
Violet Evergarden mixes beautiful scenes, amazing animation, and
3. Clannad: After Story
Clannad season 1 was good, but it doesn’t even compare to the greatness of season 2.
Like Violet Evergarden, Clannad After Story is filled with pain and sadness. Both of which few
Jormungand is the only
That’s what makes
Instead of following the typical route, it broke convention and turned the genre into something dark and disturbing.
6. Black Lagoon
Like Jormungand, Black Lagoon is one of the grittiest
Each character has a troubled past associated with rape, sexual abuse, drugs, crime, and everything the underworld represents.
Black Lagoon does it best in this department. And the action speaks for itself.
7. Psycho Pass
Psycho Pass explores sci-fi from the perspectives of police officers and the law. And let’s not forget about the technology that’s so ahead of its time in this
There are few police series as it is in the
Calling Psycho Pass “original” is an understatement. There’s no comparison for what it does.
Sword Art Online
Sword Art Online gets bashed over its head too much. In fact that’s how I discovered it. The haters made me curious.
In terms of gaming and VR, no
Akame Ga Kill
This is what
It’s a little unconventional too in the way it handles main characters (and their deaths).
Shiki starts off slow, but ends up becoming something so dark, disturbing and morally challenging, that you won’t know what to think.
It’s this one element that I love most about Shiki. One of the best horrors of all time.
On one hand, Hinamatsuri will make you burst out laughing for its ridiculous comedy.
On the other hand, the anime will bring you close to crying and weeping.
Out of all the
That’s what makes Hinamatsuri special for me.
12. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
Dragons living alongside humans isn’t creative in of itself. But the way the
And it looks good doing it.
One of the few
For this reason alone, and for how it’s portrayed from start to finish is too emotional to ignore.
I appreciate the unique animation too.
Dragon Ball Z
There’s nothing else to say.
Bleach is basically
Say what you want about Bleach, but no
16. Flying Witch
Flying Witch is the simplest, most relaxing series I’ve ever watched.
No clichés, fan service or typical nonsense seen in your everyday
It’s the closest thing to “real” television, except it’s animated.
17. My Bride Is A Mermaid
For its time the comedy (and parody) is some of the most well-done I’ve ever come across.
It’s an original comedy in its own right.
Never have I seen so many characters that are memorable and worthwhile at the same time.
It’s basically my favorite Shounen series of the 21st century.
19. The Disastrous Life Of Saiki K
One of the funniest, most creative comedies of recent years.
I love how it insults typical tropes, without actually stepping into that territory.
Re Zero: Starting Life In Another World
And the deep, dark, psychological aspects of
21. Higurashi: When They Cry
Higurashi is like one big science experiment. It’s almost impossible to know what will happen next, and how things will turn out.
For a horror series, it’s unpredictable, clever, and one of the most thought-provoking.
22. Tanaka Kun Is Always Listless
In a good kind of way.
Slice of life that focuses on concepts like self-improvement, growth, mindset and relationships
You can’t compare Barakamon. And for a short series, it has a lot of quality packed into it.
My Hero Academia
Shakugan No Shana
It has a nice mix of supernatural elements (without going over the top), decent animation and interesting characters with interesting abilities.
Each season is different, and it’s a classic overall in my eyes.
26. Eureka Seven
A mecha series without no comparison.
Eureka Seven (made by Studio Bones) uses mystery, biblical references, diverse characters and romance to tell its story.
And there’s no Mecha on earth that does it better in this area (not even
27. Full Metal Panic!
Full Metal Panic takes high school romance, and adds terrorism, action, and realism to the mix.
This is one of those rare
The Rising Of The Shield Hero
Naofumi’s realistic struggle against the double standard of sexual assault, and how the woman’s word is believed without evidence.
The constant defamation of his character, and most people refusing to “think” or question whether it’s true or not… Not to mention Naofumi’s relationship with Raphtalia (and other things).
Shield Hero is a meaningful series like no other, and it executes better than most
29. Fate Zero
When it comes to
I wouldn’t put any other Fate series about Fate Zero, but it’s too much of a quality series that KNOWS how to shine in the action genre.
30. School Live
School Live looks
31. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
Gurren Lagann is just a hype series. And when I say hype – I mean it’s energetic, ridiculous, motivational and gets you pumped up.
I can see where shows like
32. The Devil Is A Part-Timer
Like the disastrous life of saiki k, this
The story is just too ridiculous to not be funny. We definitely need a season 2 for The Devil Is A Part Timer!
- Working together to solve puzzles.
- Asking questions.
- And “playing detective”.
On the surface it doesn’t sound world-class, but how its implemented is another story.
34. If It’s For My Daughter
If It’s For My Daughter released in 2019. And I went into it with no expectations.
The first episode starts out with Dale who finds a demon child in the forest, who’s family’s been killed off.
He adopts this girl and names her “Latina”, and that’s where the
It’s a relaxed slice of life with a lot of warm episodes where the main characters bond, and their relationship continues to grow.
The plot is nothing special, and it’s not the most flashy
It has emotional aspects like Violet Evergarden.
35. Kino’s Travels: The Beautiful World
Kino’s Travels: The Beautiful World is an
Kino travels the world on her motorbike, staying no more than 3 days in each country.
Under the surface this
Easily one of the greatest
36. Kokoro Connect
Kokoro Connect isn’t classed as a “psychological” series, but for how its portrayed? It definitely is.
Slice of life and romance aside, this
I tend to avoid hyped up shows, but the brilliance of the plot, characters and psychological aspects is flawless.
Shirobako is an anime ALL fans need to see.
It’s about the
The stressful workload, animators, studios and employees being overworked. The schedules, how an
You won’t find a single detail missing from the process of what goes into an
It’s not just realistic though, it’s legit as far as the quality and entertainment you get out of Shirobako.
Definitely one of the best anime of the 2010’s.
39. Sakura Quest
Sakura Quest is an underrated slice of life series. Made back in 2017 If I’m not mistaken.
It’s a good mix of tourism, business, lighthearted comedy and a meaningful story that runs from start to finish.
This list wouldn’t be right without it!
40. Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple
Kenichi takes it upon himself to train in the martial arts, giving him the power to defend himself and reclaim his self-confidence.
In a world where bullying happens everyday, this
41. Guardian Of The Sacred Spirit
Guardian Of The Sacred Spirit is about an abandoned prince and his female bodyguard.
Production I.G outdid themselves again (they made Psycho Pass).
42. Food Wars
Food Wars dominates in the “food” genre, if that’s even a thing.
You won’t see a more creative, unique Shounen that takes an unconventional route like Food Wars.
It deserves all the success it can get.
43. A Certain Scientific Railgun
Source: Mikoto Misaka
Railgun, similar to Hinamatsuri, focuses on two things simultaneously.
- Slice of life episodes.
The action is sick, and the slice of life episodes are chilled.
And while we’re on the topic: Railgun is a MUCH better
44. D. Gray Man
D. Gray Man has always felt different to me. Most Shounen are just… Shounen.
There are literally 1000’s of Shounen’s because the genre is saturated with BS.
D. Gray Man is one of a handful that stands-out without ripping off other good shows of similar quality.
45. Code Geass
Code Geass is my #1 Mecha/action
The clever plots, the strategic characters, the ruthlessness of Lelouch… There’s too much to name here in terms of why Code Geass is so brilliant.
But one thing that stands out is the “chess-like” strategy elements.
Lelouch thinks 5 steps head and will do whatever it takes to mitigate any problems that come pop up in battle.
There’s also some similarities between Lelouch Lamperouge and Light Yagami from
46. Assassination Classroom
Another fresh series in the “school” genre of
Comparing this to your modern-day school
The plot itself is original and nothing like anything you can try comparing it ot.
47. Samurai Champloo
The one thing I respect most about Samurai Champloo is how it blends Samurai culture with the vibes of Hip Hop.
I can’t think of any
Samurai Champloo is an absolute classic.
Kaizaki Arata, a 27-year-old NEET is given another chance to “re-do” his life. Giving him the opportunity to fix his mistakes, and make something of himself.
ReLife is another surprisingly fresh school series that’s so underrated.
49. Skip Beat!
Skip Beat is a hidden diamond most people don’t see the shine of. After all – it has a fanbase, but it’s not mainstream.
It’s about a girl who gets revenge on her ex boyfriend who used her hard work,
I relate to the motivation of revenge. But the quality this
They don’t make romance shows like THIS anymore.
Charlotte is just a unique series. It takes the usual concept of superpowers, and flips it on its head.
Instead of each character having limitless power, there are limits to what they can do. And even downsides to using their abilities, making it more realistic and simpler than comparable shows.
51. Little Witch Academia
If I ever got the chance to be a “kid” again, this is the
- No fan service.
- No “attempted” fan service.
- No perverted BS.
Basically: all the clichés you can find in a similar series doesn’t exist in LWA.
Studio Trigger outdid themselves, and the
There’s nothing like old school 90’s
I call it the old school version of
Another old school series I couldn’t help adding to this list. Some of the old school drawings and designs are my favorites to this day.
I don’t talk about
It’s original for its time, and
K-On is the king and queen of “Moe” as we know it. But that’s not what makes the
K-on is a popular series that has no real plot, but has enough entertaining characters and episodes to make it worthwhile.
The comedy is some of the best I’ve seen in an
55. Soul Eater
Soul Eater is so underrated in the Shounen genre. The amount of times this show never pops up in conversation is surprising. Because the
It’s a prime example of what a “great” Shounen series looks like with a female (and male) protagonist. And support characters with male + female roles.
56. Golden Kamuy
Golden Kamuy is a rare series for its historical nature. Few
And the fact that Golden Kamuy is entertaining without being too educational makes it fun and enjoyable to watch.
57. A Place Further Than The Universe
A Place Further Than The Universe had me so curious I watched it in the original version. And I’m blown away by the quality.
It’s one of the most refreshing adventure series to have released back in 2018.
Calling it “inspirational” is an understatement.
58. Yona Of The Dawn
Yona Of The Dawn is an
Somehow Yona Of The Dawn is an adventure, supernatural series with comedy so fresh (and silly) that it’s surprising. Especially on top of all the action, occasional romance and battle-scenes from time to time.
Now it needs a season 2!
Kill La Kill
It’s impossible how an
And that’s why
Studio Trigger out-done themselves with this one. It’ll always be one of my top
I never thought “Shoujo”
After running into an
The designs are “true to life”, and the characters are so relatable in so many aspects.
Few romance come close to this for its realism.
61. Aria The Animation
The best way to describe this
It’s lightweight on comedy, but the subtle life lessons and warm-hearted main character makes this a slice of life series no fan should ever miss.
This is another
Shimoneta is a hard pill to swallow for most fans, because of how extreme it is for its beliefs, plot, language and purpose. But if you can stomach it, you’ll be surprised at the depth and even comedy this
Minami-Ke is an underrated, forgotten slice of life and comedy series. It’s about 3 sisters who live in the same household, and all the shenanigans they get up to.
With 3 seasons in total and cliches that are actually funny, I never got through an episode without laughing.
I’d rate it a 10/10 without hesitating.
64. Land Of The Lustrous
Land Of The Lustrous is an
Land Of The Lustrous takes it to another level for its quality of animation. I’d say it’s even better than Violet Evergarden in its own way.
And the story itself is mysterious but interesting enough to carry you through till the end without feeling like you’ve wasted your time.
It’s a great series with memorable characters.
But if you stick with it and get to the good parts, you’ll realize how thought provoking and intriguing this
And with it being produced by Studio Shaft, the animation and transitions between scenes is beautiful.
It’s poetry in motion.
Nisekoi is also produced by studio Shaft, just like
This is not like your typical harem
Nisekoi is a quality series with some worthy characters that make the whole
The “art” is legit.
If you wanna watch a slice of life series with a lot of DEPTH to the characters, and thought-provoking messages – Oregairu is the one to see.
Almost none of the characters in this series isn’t written well. The main characters hold a lot of value in the overall story, and the sometimes “hidden” messages under the surface.
I feel like Oregairu is underrated and not enough people shout about it too much. Even though it’s rated highly.